Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Next Great Flagship Set Will be the One We Make Ourselves

The Topps Series II checklist came out today and - of course - it is the same old garbage we've all come to expect from Topps. My first outrage was seeing a card of Yovanni Gallardo as a Brewer (cut in spring training), but then I was alerted to the Brewers card of MATT GARZA - who was hardly an impact player on last year's team and was far from a fan favorite and is no longer in baseball and had NO CHANCE of returning to the Brewers for 2018. Why??? WHYYYYY Matt Garza? 

Because Topps doesn't give a shit. Base sets have become delivery systems for relics and parallels and SP'd RCs. Base is the soda, chase cards are the whiskey, and the hobby is old-timey drunk in a rumpled suit who just can't say no. "Coke, Pepsi... whatever. Mix it with some flat Sam's Club root beer for all I care. Taste is long lost, I just need my fix." 

But what if there was another option? A set of base cards that could reflect what the people who still give a hoot about base cards want? I've had this idea lately. It sprouted from the pure joy I have in building my BrewersNOW set and the utter indifference I feel towards any products. It's a simple idea, really - take the custom-made team set idea league-wide with a crowd-sourced set of 792 cards for the 2019 season. 

It won't be an easy thing to do. As I see it, this project will need:

At least 10-12 "team captains" who will be build team checklists, collect highish-res images of players and write copy for the backsides of their cards.

Someone to design the base cards and subsets, front and back.

People who can "harvest" player biographical info and stats from the internet and format them so they can be included on the card backs (I have no technical knowledge about this would be done)

Editors for the card copy and information. 

A checklist master who can arrange the cards and - as the 2019 season nears - update teams and photos as needed. 

Someone with printing knowledge enough to oversee many of these processes so the cards don't end up looking like crap. 

A printing company who will print, cut, and collate these cards. 

A decent number of collectors (50 or more?) willing to put up money for these sets so we have cash to cover what I imagine will be a very large printing bill. 

So, there would be a lot of work to be done. But, it would be fun work and we have plenty of time to do it. My biggest worries are about the money. I have no idea what something like this might cost. My uneducated guess is that a 792-card set would probably cost at least $100... but that is just a wild-ass guess. And we'd need enough collectors to sign on in order to make that possible. If there are only ten people interested in this concept, it's sunk before it even begins. 

And there are other matters to consider as well. First, this will be an unauthorized product. We'd be using photos without the permission of their creators and depicting ballplayers and team logos without any OK from anyone. I don't have a huge issue with any of that. I'd insist on the price point of these cards to be just enough to cover the printing costs. I want to do this because it would be hella fun and would - hopefully - result in the greatest card set of the decade. No one is making money, no one is losing out. It's a guerilla kind of thing, too. A rebellion against a corrupt system. Not exactly burning down the ROTC... but you get my drift. 

So, that is the heavy stuff. The work, the cheating, and so on. BUT... what about the FUN!

First off, we'd get to make our own damn set. Teams would get balanced coverage... FANS of each (or most) teams would get to pick the player depicted. MATT GARZA WOULD NOT BE INCLUDED. Middle reliever would return to cardboard! Managers! The photos would be GREAT! NO SPs!!!

And Subsets!! The limit is our collective imagination! Our set can have Record Breakers, Rated Rookies, multi-player leader cards. We could have a stand-alone card for Albert Pujols' 3000th hit! Playoff recap cards! Boyhood Photos of the stars! 

This is something that can be done. Please share and comment below if you are up for the challenge. 

Friday, June 1, 2018

And the Winner Is...

As promised, I put the names of everyone who commented on my True Crime cards post into the randomizer...

 With the top name after one click (so boring, I know) to get the prize of a couple of unopened wax packs.

And there it is! Congrats, Julie! You win some "Ghoulie" cards.